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The So-called News

By On

Independent media? Freedom of the press? Peoples friend, tyrants foe? It was a good idea while it lasted, educating the electorate and forming a mainstay of our democracy. Now, we’ve either elected Bush twice, or tolerated two rigged elections. Either way, we’ve lost something and the press does not seem to be helping.

Today’s Herald includes another of a long string of articles written by developers to promote their project. In an article entitled, “Environmental study process to begin at port”, Port and City officials paint another rosy picture for their scheme of privatizing the waterfront.

The Herald’s practice of allowing developers to write their own press began with the Port’s acquisition of the property, but didn’t kick into full swing until the last Port Commission election. It is an enviable privilege not afforded every developer. David Syre, founder of the Trillium Corporation, had to start his own paper - The Cascadia Weekly - to promote his development agenda.

In today’s Herald “article” written by the Port, they emphasize the appointment of Andrew W. Maron as their new State Environmental Policy Act official. He replaces Mike Stoner who is now being assigned to the project management team. According to the article, “The port commission appointed Maron to ensure that the port’s policy act official is clearly independent of the project management team”.

The so-called article describes Maron as, “an attorney with Short, Cressman & Burgess in Seattle” who “has served as a city councilman and interim mayor for Bainbridge Island and on numerous other community boards”.

However, on his law firm’s website, Maron is described as focusing his practice on “commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction law, and municipal law”. His bio continues to detail that “in his construction law practice, Mr. Maron represents owners, contractors, and suppliers in all phases of the construction process: negotiation, contract preparation and dispute resolution”.

Hmmm. Somehow they left that part out. Maybe they thought it would undermine their assertion that Mr. Maron was going to be “clearly independent of the project management team”. Sounds to me like he is going to be an important asset to the Port in their development process. It used to be that the environmental review was done in the public’s best interests, not the project proponent’s.

I’m getting the sense that the engine has started and the train for this railroad job is already heading out of the station. Get ready boys and girls, ‘cause it’s your waterfront and things are going to start happening very fast.

The Port will conduct two public hearings establishing the scope of environmental review for the project. These are currently scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., April 25 and May 2, at the Bellingham Municipal Courthouse, 2014 C St.

More on that later!

About Tip Johnson

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 11, 2008

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms [...]